Major League Baseball is being sued by the San Jose City Council for telling the Oakland Athletics that they cannot move to San Jose, according to ABC 7 News:
UPDATE: Tuesday, June 18, at 6:10 p.m. ET by Kyle Vassalo
Danny Knobler of CBS reveals this excerpt from MLB's statement on the lawsuit:
MLB, in statement, calls San Jose lawsuit over A's "an unfounded attack on the fundamental structures of a professional sports league."— Danny Knobler (@DannyKnoblerCBS) June 18, 2013
---End of Update---
The A’s have wanted out of Oakland for quite some time, with hopes of getting a new stadium. Jill Tucker of the San Francisco Chronicle writes that MLB commissioner Bud Selig formed a committee to research a potential move four years ago, but San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed is tired of waiting around for a definitive answer.
Here's an excerpt from the suit:
This action arises from the blatant conspiracy by Major League Baseball to prevent the Athletics Baseball Club from moving to San Jose. This action challenges—and seeks to remedy—Defendants' violation of state laws and use of the illegal cartel that results from these agreements to eliminate competition in the playing of games in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Reed asked permission to speak with Selig back in April, but the commissioner refused, per Tucker’s report.
Part of the reason why the A’s cannot move to San Jose is that the San Francisco Giants claim that they have territorial rights over the Santa Clara County and aren’t willing to share, according to Tucker.
But as we’ve seen recently, Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum just isn’t a fit for the baseball team anymore. On June 16, there was raw sewage flooding through the clubhouses, per Shannon Drayer of ESPN 710 Seattle:
Unbelievable. Pipes backing up in both clubhouses. Mariners scrambling to get out. Training room and showers flooded and not stopping.— Shannon Drayer (@shannondrayer) June 16, 2013
Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reiterated Oakland’s need for a new stadium:
#Athletics need a new stadium: a flood on clubhouse level means both teams showering in Raiders locker room.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) June 16, 2013
With a new stadium in Santa Clara County, the A’s hope to draw more fans, which would in theory raise revenues and allow them to keep more of their homegrown talent. This season, the A’s have the 23rd-best home attendance in baseball, according to ESPN. Back in April, Jim Caple of ESPN rated O.co Coliseum as the third-worst stadium in the game.
It’s obvious that the A’s are determined to move to San Jose, and if MLB isn’t going to let them, the city is going to do everything in its power to change the league’s mind—even if it means a lawsuit.